Is the case closed on Spygate?
May 13: Roger Goodell says no further sanctioning will be given to New England as a result of his meeting with Matt Walsh.
NEW YORK - Former New England assistant coach Brian Daboll told the NFL he doesn’t remember speaking with Matt Walsh about the St. Louis Rams’ walkthrough Walsh attended the day before the 2002 Super Bowl.
Even if Daboll and New England’s former video assistant did speak about it, “it would not be a violation of NFL rules,” the league said Thursday.
Walsh met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday about videotaping procedures used by the Patriots. Walsh said during the meeting that he had no knowledge of that walkthrough being videotaped as had been reported by the Boston Herald the day before this year’s Super Bowl, Goodell said.
On Wednesday, the Herald apologized for a story that said the Patriots videotaped the walkthrough before the 2002 Super Bowl. In the apology, the Herald said, “We now know that this report was false, and that no tape of the walkthrough ever existed.”
Walsh told Goodell that Daboll, now the quarterbacks coach with the New York Jets, approached him later, NFL attorney Gregg Levy said Tuesday. Walsh said he told Daboll that running back Marshall Faulk was returning kicks and described the Rams’ use of tight ends in their formations. Daboll did not mention such a conversation when he was first interviewed by NFL officials about the walkthrough, Levy said.
Daboll was interviewed again Wednesday by the NFL’s security department, the league said in a statement.
“He has no recollection of a conversation with Matt Walsh about the Rams’ walk-through practice,” the league said. “Even if such a conversation occurred, it would not be a violation of NFL rules.”
The statement said that Walsh, other members of the Patriots video department, members of the Rams video department and others preparing for the Super Bowl were authorized to be in the stadium.
“Mr. Walsh told the commissioner that he was wearing Patriots’ attire at the time and did not conduct himself in a clandestine manner,” the NFL said. “He said that he saw Rams employees while he was there and also was on the sidelines. He stated clearly to the commissioner that nobody from the Patriots requested or directed him to observe or report on the Rams’ walk-through.”
The Patriots won that Super Bowl, 20-17.
Meanwhile, Mike Martz, head coach of the Rams in that game, issued a statement expressing surprise.
“The whole issue is based on statements made by Matt Walsh, and I think we have to understand that.”
Martz also said he spoke with Goodell on Wednesday and “was very satisfied” with the league’s efforts to investigate the situation as it related to the 2002 Super Bowl.
“I’m very confident that there was no impropriety. I believed (Patriots coach) Bill Belichick when he said there wasn’t and I took that at face value.”
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
During his news conference Tuesday after speaking with Walsh, Goodell said when asked if he considered the Spygate investigation closed, “As I stand before you today, and having met with Matt Walsh and more than 50 other people, I don’t know where else I would turn.”
After the Patriots’ season-opener against the Jets last September, the NFL confiscated tapes from a Patriots employee who recorded the Jets’ defensive signals. Belichick was fined $500,000 and the team was fined $250,000 and stripped of its 2008 first-round draft choice.
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